Saturday, September 29, 2012

Novella Review: Magnet - Special Mission (David Adams)


*** Disclaimer ***
I am a friend of the author and was an alpha reader for this novella. That said, I was not paid for my help and in no way what so ever do I financially benefit from sales of this book.
*** /Disclaimer ***

I enjoyed this piece. The first Magnet is one of my favorite stories by Adams, and Magnet: Special Mission is a worthy follow up. After reading this in the alpha stage I was really impressed by how well it came out in the final version, especially in regards the voice of Magnet, the main character.

Setting: 3/5. The concept is based around a near future Earth that has been attacked by aliens, the Toralii, after humanity developed some new toys. Nothing about the setting really wows me, and it is reasonably generic sci-fi, but hey, have to set the story somewhere. The military side of the sci-fi in this story was done well. I enjoyed the chatter among the people on the ship, talking using real world military phrases, it helped ground me in the world.

Plot: 4/5. The plot is reasonably straight forward, but considering the length of the work that is to be expected. The main character, Magnet, and some fellow soldiers have to escort an alien male to his wedding, as it will help humanity forge an alliance with this race against the Toralii. One thing that I really liked about this plot was how it starts and ends in the same place, like coming full circle. The ending was satisfying.

Characters: 4/5. With limited page count, I think the author did a really good job of introducing the cast, and made them characters unique enough to remember despite introducing about half a dozen characters early.

Suspension of Disbelief: 5/5. I had no problem believing what was going on, despite some of the technology used. The character decisions also well justified and believable.

Pacing: 4.5/5. I didn't get bored. Even the scenes without action were interesting and carried the story well. In fact, I think the slower parts of the story, such as the opening scene and some of the chatter over coms on the ship, were actually my favorite parts.

Voice: 5/5. This is written in first person, and as with the last work the voice of Magnet really steals the show. Magnet's voice is definitely the strongest among any characters Adams has created so far. There were no head hoping POV problems that I could see.

Prose: 4/5. The prose was well written, and tied in well with the main character's voice. Some good lines in there. Not sure if it will win a poetry competition, but a few turns of phrase did catch my eye.

Typos/Bad Grammar: 5/5. No Issues here.

In summary Magnet: 4/5. Special Mission is a good read, and a must read for fans of the Magnet short story. Despite its short length it is a well paced and character driven story with a good sense of resolution at the end. For the few bucks it costs it was well worth the entertainment.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blood for the Dying: Teaser Prose

Sorrow. Loss. Regret. Solitude. All these things were felt through the song, carried by a voice ancient, words both loud and soundless, as soft as water and as hard as diamond, filled with the kind of hope and loneliness that only the dying know.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Progress Update: Blood for the Dying

Dear World,

After having mashed the original first and second books of the series together I am about 95% through a massive rewrite of the first book of the Grey Worlds. 75% done in the current editing pass, then only a few final things to add it and amend.

The rewrite is going really well, though it made me realize just how much work the editing process can be if you truly want to fix up a plot, not to mention making the world and characters layered enough to feel real and light fire to emotions.

I will be finished with this rewrite by the start of October, after that will be sending it to beta readers with a month-to-read-and-review deadline, then finally, at long last, give it back to the editor. At this stage I am looking for an early 2013 release.

The book is going really well. If you readers feel half what I feel when I read and write these scenes I am sure you will love it.

Lots of love to all,

Shane

p.s. here is more music to write and read to :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sample Chapters Available!

I have uploaded sample chapters for my two works in progress, Blood for the Dying, and The Orc of Many Questions.

They are still in early draft stages, so please forgive me for any typos.

I have also uploaded a recently commissioned map of the Grey Worlds by Jared Blando @ TheRedEpic.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Title for Book One of the Grey Worlds Announced!

Happy days indeed, after having to combine books 1 and 2 of the Grey Worlds novels I have finally settled on a title!

Hurray!

Ahem.

Anyway, the first book in the Grey Worlds series will be titled "Blood for the Dying".

It is 95% written, though I have to connect some of the material from books 1 and 2 and also need to polish as much as possible before sending it back to the editor. At this stage I am planning to send a solid second draft to the editor at the end of 2012.

I had hoped to publish by Christmas 2012, but I am focused on quality more than I am focused on spaming out books as quickly as possible. Considering this is my first novel, it is probably a pretty good idea to spend a long time editing.

Sample chapters (Act 1 of 5) will be up by the end of the month.